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Matt Crafton filling in for ailing Aric Almirola in No. 43 Sprint Cup car today

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 - Practice

LOUDON, NH - JULY 18: Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, walks through the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Matt Crafton will replace Aric Almirola today in practice at Michigan International Speedway because Almirola is ill.

The team stated that Almirola will make limited laps in practice in order to qualify the car and retain his starting spot for Sunday’s race. Almirola got into the car late in Friday’s practice session.

Crafton, a two-time Camping World Truck Series champion, is there because the series races at Michigan this weekend.

Although Crafton drives for Toyota and Almirola’s RPM team is aligned with Ford, Crafton is in the car because Ford did not have any Truck series drivers at Michigan with Cup experience other than Ryan Blaney and he’s already in the No. 21 Cup car this weekend doing double duty. The Xfinity Series is racing at Mid-Ohio this weekend.

Almirola enters this weekend 50 points out of the final Chase spot with four races to go.

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